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Review of the N380
#1
I thought it was time to get hold of an N380. I bought my first N360 4 1/2 years ago and had 3 free replacements since then. During that time stator wear has been an issue with the N360s and traction fluid leaks. Despite this the reliability of the N360s for me has been 100%, never been left walking.

The N380 is supposed to have this issue fixed and is sold as a superior and heavy duty version. I shall be testing to see if it really is suitable for cargo bikes up to 168kg. This is just an initial review, I will report back on any stator wear when I have done some miles.

First impressions are that the build quality is better. Little things like the freewheel makes a much louder more positive clicking noise. The hub spins nice and freely like a well worn in N360 does, so hopefully they have perfected the oil seals. They just seem to have perfected the manufacturing process, better quality control perhaps. Maybe all the substandard parts are going in to the N330s.

Looking inside the hub I was expecting to see some sort of major redesign of the stator and planet axles. The planet axle end caps are the same as in the 2012 model N360. The change must be in the hardness of the magnesium stator. It was definitely harder to drill the holes for the magnets. Last time I could just push the magnets in but with the N380 I had to give them a few small taps.

[Image: Aviary%20Photo_131043602879959650_zpsehvi3zeh.jpg]
No noticeable difference in the stator guide slots, accept for the small alterations to increase the overdrive ratio.
[Image: P1010056_zpskr8vxthf.jpg]
[Image: P1010062_zpsmfnczrv5.jpg]
Whilst I had the hub open I added some magnets to the stator. Should keep the traction fluid a little cleaner.
[Image: WP_20160404_004_zpsmagb75ri.jpg]

Ride experience, well my first impressions are that its more efficient especially in underdrive, seems to be less drag. Could just be that my bushing modification is making the other hub less efficient. Really want to investigate this in more depth soon.
I really like the increased ratio range because I found the 360% was never quite enough. Using the min sprocket ratio meant that top speed was around 15mph so I choose to have two chainrings. The N380 at min sprocket ratio gives a range of approx 5 - 18mph making a single chainring a much more viable option.
A future project I'm looking forward to is putting the N380 on a road bike and making an electronic shifter. I will keep the two chainrings 52/34t and 18t sprocket giving a massive speed range of 5 to over 30mph.
- Oran
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#2
Nice write-up! Can't believe how fast you are at taking apart a brand new hub to have a peek inside! Tongue

For the electronic shifting thing, have a look at my rig... It works flawlessly since the beginning!
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Si ça a déjà été fait, je peux le faire
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#3
Thanks Normand, you should have a go at opening a hub sometime especially if you've now got access to a decent workshop. In some ways these hubs are beautifully simple in their construction and you can't go too far wrong. I've done so many thousands of miles now with hubs that I've opened that I have total conference I'm resembling them to a sufficient standard.

I was going to ask you how your electronic shifting is doing. I'm going to start a new topic very soon about the ideas I have for my shifter.
- Oran
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#4
Whilst I had the Arduino outputting via the serial port I thought I would record the rate of slow down of the hub when freewheeling. Just shows how little friction the seals of the N380 have. Also the wheel has a lightweight road rim and tyre.

[Image: N380%20slow%20down%20speed_zpsd88uwnim.jpg]
- Oran
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